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Gardens with a purpose


Whether planting a kitchen garden for home-grown veggies and herbs or designing a yard to attract more wildlife, gardening with a purpose is a trend that's gaining momentum. Gardens are no longer just trees and grass that encircle the house, but views we enjoy from the indoors for their aesthetic value and outdoor places that contribute to our everyday lifestyles. Whatever your gardening purpose -- relaxation/meditation, watching butterflies and hummingbirds, harvesting home-grown produce -- you can make it a reality by designing and planting your landscape with specific goals in mind.
Spend some time planning out what you want to accomplish with your gardens. Ask other family members what they would like to see or have in the yard.

Some Functions To Consider

Vegetable garden  - can be used to provide healthy fresh food for your family

  • Look at your available space -- especially the sunny areas where most vegetables will thrive -- and select the areas where you might add vegetables.
  • Do you have room for plants that grow low and wide like cucumbers? If not, consider adding an obelisk or a trellis so the spreaders can grow up instead of out.
  • Check the water requirements of potential vegetables and herbs against plants already in the landscape. Placing veggies that need regular water among plants that require little or no water is generally not a good idea.

Pet-friendly garden  - If you love your pet but cannot live with the devastation he/she causes on your garden through digging or paw trails across your lawn, plan carefully to prevent this by putting down pathways they can use regularly and using landscape fabric under your mulch to prevent digging.


Wildlife garden - All it takes to attract wildlife to your yard is to provide for their basic needs--food, shelter and water. The best plan is to consider these three requirements in ways that serve multiple purposes in your landscape so that you attract wildlife.


Water gardens  - Water gardens enhance the quality of outdoor living by creating ambiance, screening out street noise and providing relaxing havens from hectic days. They also provide focal points for entertaining, places to observe nature and the chance to enjoy a unique palette of plant life.

Other Garden Ideas

Evergreen shrubs to form a living fence to hide dustbins.
A large deciduous tree used to hide the neighbours backyard during the summertime.
A row of evergreen trees to create a windbreak for winter.
A large tree to shade the roof of your house during the hot summer months.
You may decide the purpose isn't any of the listed items. You might just want a single herb planter. The great thing about your garden is that it's yours to decide what it should consist of.

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